Opinion Review
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Anesthesiol. Jul 20, 2019; 8(3): 19-24
Published online Jul 20, 2019. doi: 10.5313/wja.v8.i3.19
Healthcare delivery cost and anesthesiologists: Time to have a greater role and responsibility
Habib Md Reazaul Karim
Habib Md Reazaul Karim, Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur 492099, India
Author contributions: Karim HMR performed the literature search, manuscript preparation, and editing.
Conflict-of-interest statement: No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Habib Md Reazaul Karim, MBBS, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Great Eastern Road, Raipur 492099, India. drhabibkarim@gmail.com
Telephone: +91-96-12372585
Received: January 9, 2019
Peer-review started: January 9, 2019
First decision: April 11, 2019
Revised: April 16, 2019
Accepted: June 17, 2019
Article in press: June 18, 2019
Published online: July 20, 2019

With the advancement of technology and health sciences, health care delivery costs are steadily increasing. This affects both households and governments. Unfortunately, the present truth is that health has become an essential but unaffordable commodity. This is very concerning. Quality, up-to-date, cost-effective health care delivery is one of the prime objectives, and focuses on administration and health care authority. As the per capita spent on health from public/government funds is very poor in developing countries, the responsibility of cost-effective health care delivery falls primarily on the shoulder of the treating physicians. Anesthesiologists are becoming an indispensable part of health care delivery, having a diverse role in the emergency, critical care, pain, and perioperative care of patients. As the population ages, the need for surgical care is also increasing. Therefore, the anesthesiologist can also play a more significant role in delivering cost-effective health care, and minimize the cost without affecting the quality. This brief narrative review analyzes the current practice of anesthesiologists in two prime areas in the context of cost-savings: Preoperative investigation and low/minimal flow anesthesia.

Keywords: Health expenditures, Cost control, Anesthesiologists, Anesthesia

Core tip: Health care costs are escalating worldwide, affecting both governments and households. The need for surgery and interventional procedures are also steadily increasing. This has led to the increased requirement of clinical services from anesthesiologists. Therefore, anesthesiologists can also play an important role in cost containment. Two of the significant areas where cost reduction is possible are preoperative tests and the use of low and minimal flow anesthesia. However, a few factors may act as a hindrance to clinical practice. This opinion review paper discusses these issues and the possible remedial steps for providing cost-effective, quality healthcare, especially in developing countries.